The ARC Centre for Excellence in Exciton Science held an Exciton Solar + Design Summer School from 14 to 19 January 2019 at the University of New South Wales and Coogee Beach in Sydney.
Hanbo Yang, Masters student from the University of Melbourne, travelled to Sydney to the summer school and has shared her reflections. Thanks also to organisers Tim Schmidt and Dane McCamey for providing additional details.
Throughout the week, a cocktail of physics, chemistry and design studies stimulated the minds of 22 students from five universities across NSW and Victoria, prompting important questions like how can we boost the efficiency of solar cells? Why LSCs (Luminescent Solar Concentrators)? What are the pathways to establish sustainable energy products? And how many Hawaiian shirts could one man own?
The school covered an interesting mix of topics ranging from excitonic interactions to next generation photovoltaics. Guest lecturer A/Prof. Angèle Reinders (pictured below) from the University of Twente in the Netherlands fascinated us with the styling of DeMakersVan, blurred the lines of ideation and integration through modelling, and inspired us to design our own LSCs. What emerged was a pool of bold innovative ideas: from coloured chicken farms to backyard solar lilies.
On the final day, the group went to Coogee Beach for a practical session that promised working LSC circuits. The success gave me solace under Sydney’s beyond-average solar irradiance of 1110W/m2 (during the hour of sandwich eating).
What inspired and consoled me as someone who is passionate about solving the world’s energy problems, was not only the lectures on finding electrons, but the people who are playing invaluable roles in the transition of renewable energy. And one thing I am as certain as Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle, the illuminating future of LSC shirts can’t come quickly enough.
Thanks to Tim Schmidt, Dane McCamey and Alain Rives for organising the workshop and to the lecturers:
A/Prof. Angèle Reinders, University of Twente, NL
Prof. Timothy Schmidt, UNSW
A/Prof. N. J. Ekins-Daukes, UNSW
Dr Murad Tayebjee, UNSW